Original Dutch film title:
DE DRIE BESTE DINGEN IN HET LEVEN
Romantic comedy around a violinist and two vagrants.
In this melancholic comedy we follow the successful young violinist Sacha as she travels by train from Paris to Amsterdam and three days later when she returns, bereft of many illusions yet purified within.
In this melancholic comedy, we follow the young and successful violinist Sacha as she travels by train from Paris to Amsterdam and three days later -bereft of many illusions yet purified within- when she returns.
Sacha decides to go to Amsterdam look up her boyfriend in the city where she was born. Her period is three months overdue and she wants to talk with him about what to do. In the train she meets a strange Czech who intrigues her and at Central Station lumbers her with a box. He will be in touch.
The box turns out to contain a duck in a cage. Her boyfriend isn’t home and Sacha has to look for somewhere else to stay. Her father is down and out and can provide no consolation. Hotels are full, she is robbed and two shady characters take an interest in her cage. Sacha is left to her own resources and her only friend is a white duck. Only now does she realise how thin her musical career really was. She is at the mercy of events.
Meanwhile we have followed Caspar and Maarten, two friends who live consciously beyond the fringes of society. They do however have an ideal to which they cling. They both want to go to Rome and leave Amsterdam, where they have both survived many pitfalls, behind them for good.
Caspar, the dreamer, saves Sacha from the two shady characters. Exhausted, she eventually finds somewhere to stay in Caspar and Maarten’s camper on the roof of a deserted multi-storey car park. The two friends explain to Sacha what they regard as The Three Best Things Life Has To Offer. This is a consolation to Sacha and she can’t help it: she feels more and more attracted to Caspar. He is madly in love with her and both end up in a game of attraction and rejection, in spite of their completely different backgrounds. An unexpected move by Caspar is eventually responsible for the demise of the two shady characters. It looks as if noting can really stand in the way of Sacha and Caspar.
But her boyfriend Ben, the original reason for the trip, continues to haunt them. Sacha breaks up with Caspar and finds Ben at home. All the events of the last few days give her the feeling that her boyfriend, who made her pregnant, has nothing more to say to her. She immediately returns to Caspar’s house, but it looks as if he has disappeared without trace. Without a friend, without a lover and completely alone, she meets the strange Czech again at Central Station. He gets his duck and cage back and the cage turns out to have a false bottom filled with false passports. He wishes her all the best and they say farewell. In the train she daydreams and sees herself in Rome with Caspar.
But the whole point of Life is that you create your own Three Best Things and don’t adopt someone’s else’s. Robbed of many illusions, Sacha disembarks at the Gare du Nord in Paris.
Someone calls her name. To her amazement, she sees Caspar walk towards her. Neither knows what to say.
Loes Wouterson (Sacha van Eden)
Victor Löw (Caspar)
Jack Wouterse (Maarten)
Pierre Bokma (Ben de Kadt)
Gerard Thoolen (Otto)
Gijs Scholten van Aschat (Thomas)
Michel van Dousselaere (Jawek Vitebsk)
script & direction: Ger Poppelaars
camera: Lex Wertwijn
gaffer: Erik Van Wouden
sound: Alex Booy
art director: Gert Brinkers
costume design: Linda Bogers
make-up: Leendert Van Nimwegen
editing: Wim Louwrier
re-recording mix: Jan van Sandwijk
music: Henny Vrienten
production manager: Will Koopman
assistant producer: René Goossens
producer: René Scholten
this film is a co-production of Studio Nieuwe Gronden with NOS Televisie
this film is financially supported by:
Productiefonds voor Nederlandse Films
Stimuleringsfonds Nederlandse Culturele Omroepproducties
Competitie Prix Europa (TV-film) – Porto 1993: Special commendation Prix Europe
European First Film Festival – Premier Plans – Angers 1994: Grote Prijs van het Publiek – Beste Europese Eerste Film, Prix Liberation Beste Europese Eerste Film